Food & Drink

Seafood Fest Set for Old Library in Olean to Benefit Programs of ReHabilitation Center

The 14th Annual Seafood Fest sponsored by the ReHabilitation Center will take place at the Old Library in downtown Olean. Credits: Alfonso De Falco

OLEAN, NY – For folks whose mouths water at the thought of shrimp cocktail, steamed clams and other seafood delicacies, the ReHabilitation Center’s 14th annual Seafood Fest will provide all of that.

And it supports a good cause: The ReHabilitation Center, which has been providing residential and day services to about 1,100 people with developmental disabilities and behavioral health issues in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties for 60 years.

The March 24 event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Library, 116 S. Union St.

Sign Up for E-News

 “It’s probably the most historic and premier place in Olean to hold that kind of event – the ReHabilitation Center being such a vital part of are Olean area and the heritage of the library itself is kind of a natural thing,” noted Joe Marra, who owns the Old Library with his wife Susan.

Elena Bombardier, the director of development for the ReHabilitation Center, said that most of the food served is provided by the Old Library and by US Foods, entities that “partner and collaborate with us on the event.”

Bombardier credited the Old Library with doing much to make sure the event is successful, including donating a considerable portion of the expenses in running the event. “It varies year after year, but it is significant amount,” she said.

Marra added, “We donate our time and decorations at no cost to set up the event. Usually we charge for that when it comes to planning events but not for this.”

Bombardier mentioned that the creativity the Old Library staff put into the event is “huge.” For instance, Marra fills the place with palm trees and seashells to fit the event’s theme.

“It takes me three days to decorate the place with fish nets, lobster trays and captain hats. We set up everything to give it a seafood and seashore type of theme,” Marra said.

The featured dishes will include shrimp cocktail, snow crab rangoon, shrimp scampi, steamed clams and honey hoisin salmon. Among the non-seafood items are beef tenderloin carved to order and chicken monterey.

Catering to attendees’ food preferences, Seafood Fest also offers a live auction of item such as a 3-to-4-pound live lobster, porterhouse steaks, lobster tails, and Alaskan King crab legs,” Bombardier said.

“Stuff like the live lobsters are auctioned off live or raw, then sent quickly back to the kitchen and prepared in time to set up the meal for the auction winners the same time everyone else is eating,” Marra explained.

He added, “Whoever wins it can do whatever they want with it, but usually it is taken to the table and it is shared by everyone at the table.”

Professional auctioneer Dan Carter, who is part owner of Carter Auctions and Events Center in Allegany, has been part of the fest for the past couple of years.

“Carter is very well-known in the community he has been doing this for years,” Bombardier said. “He is also a part of our Seafood Fest committee, so he is pretty involved in the event.”

Bombardier attributed the success of the annual event to the constant support from the community and local businesses.

“We can’t thank them enough. We have had attendees say they wait all year for the event, and they never miss it, which we love to hear.” she said.

Sponsorships range from $325 to $1,350 and are being accepted until March 1. Some of the corporate sponsors already confirmed include Univera Healthcare, Kinley Corporation and Good Times of Olean.

Individual tickets are $60. For tickets or sponsorships, contact The Foundation at 716-375-4730, ext. 562, or

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Self-Defense Empowers Women

Real estate agent Mary Stachowicz fears becoming a victim of violence.

Why? Because she shows houses to groups of men by herself.

Stachowicz voiced those fears after the Jan. 27 “Beyond Self Defense Seminar” she attended at AKT Combatives Academy in Olean. And she said she believed that in order to overcome this fear, it would be valuable to learn self-defense.

“My son ...

The Story of Punxsutawney Phil

With Groundhog Day landing on Friday this year, thousands will watch in person and even more will tune in from home to see Punxsutawney Phil make his yearly prediction.

As legend has it, if Phil sees his shadow at dusk on Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter are on its way. If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, and early spring can be expected.

Phil may very well be the world’s second ...

The Secret to a Positive Outlook in 2018: Stay Local

With each new year, the annual ritual of making resolutions brings promises, goals and hope for a brighter future.

In 2018, the key to that brighter future may lie in spending less time debating divisive political issues, reading troubling stories about sexual improprieties in the workplace and worrying about national economic trends that are beyond our control.

My advice? Spend a few less ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, February 19, 10:00 AM

Cuba Circulating Library, Cuba

Cabin Fever Playgroup


Tue, February 20, 12:30 PM

Gallery, Olean Public Library, Olean

Brown Bag Book Club

Arts & Entertainment Education

Tue, February 20, 6:00 PM

Gallery, Olean Public Library, Olean

Film Screening: Dunkirk

Arts & Entertainment

Archbishop Walsh Academy Awarded International Baccalaureate Educator Grants

February 14, 2018

OLEAN, NY -- The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) has awarded three International Baccalaureate (IB) educator grants to teachers at Archbishop Walsh Academy. The funds, totaling $1500, will provide additional resources to IB educators seeking to deepen and enrich curriculum content and increase student engagement. NSHSS awarded twenty grants to ...

Exhibit Opening at JCC's Olean Campus Offers New Ways to Visualize Disease and Recovery

OLEAN, NY -- A new exhibition, titled “Artist/Patient/Advocate: Works by Elizabeth Jameson and Ted Meyer,” offers new ways of visualizing disease and recovery.

Opening Friday from 6-8 p.m. in the Center Gallery on the Jamestown Community College Olean campus, this exhibit features artwork that incorporates diagnostic brain scans, photographs and rubbings taken from body scars. Los ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...